RadioShack Returns to Super Bowl Pregame

NEW YORK RadioShack plans to introduce six TV spots during the three-hour Super Bowl XXXVIII pregame show Feb. 1 on CBS.

Three of the ads will position the chain’s 7,000 stores as the convenient place to purchase cell phones for consumers who plan to retain their existing numbers. The other three spots will be product pitches using spokesman Shaquille O’Neal.

The spots are from RadioShack’s in-house agency, Circle R Group, Fort Worth, Texas. RadioShack spent $192 million on advertising in 2003, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Phone number portability has been a hot topic since the Federal Communications Commission made the option available to consumers last year. The ads will talk about “our neighborhood convenience and the experts that work in our stores that make RadioShack the easy way to take your number with you. You pop in and pick up a phone and we’ll take care of the rest,” said Jim McDonald, senior vice president of marketing and advertising at RadioShack, Fort Worth. “We have great deals with national carriers like Sprint and Verizon.”

O’Neal, all-star center with the Los Angeles Lakers, continues with the message that small is cool as he touts personal consumer electronic items such as PDAs, camera phones and other products.

The big pregame buy mirrors the retailer’s efforts last year. McDonald said the strategy works: “It’s more efficient versus a Super Bowl buy. During the pregame show, everyone is gathering at the house. The tube is on. The ratings are great. Everyone’s watching.”

CBS announced last month that RadioShack is an official Super Bowl sponsor, along with AOL, Ford, General Motors/Cadillac, H&R Block,, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Sony PlayStation and Wachovia.